It's not awkward the next morning when she wakes up with her face pressed in unfamiliar yet same pillows and the sounds of Andrew humming close by. She hadn't thought it would be, just. It's Andrew. Her first instinct had been up until that point last night when he had stopped her near the elevator with a hand on her wrist, a murmured 'Don't go.' was to back off. Way off. Not that she wasn't friendly. Openly friendly. Extra friendly. I-would-die-for-you friends. But. Until last night, she had no idea what Jesse was talking about all that time.
Sure, she hangs out with Andrew and they talk, really talk, but it seems like that's a thing he does with everyone--opens up, pours himself out, lets the other person decide what to pick up, what to leave behind. There are pieces of Andrew everywhere he's ever been.
The biggest one is with Jesse.
And Emma knows, she does, that she can't really talk in that department. She is closely guarded. Her and Jesse had many conversations about that and their respective need for someone else to be the adult, the desire to fade because burning out brightly might be too much for either of them.
She gets that lying in Andrew's bed and thinking about Jesse is kind of weird, but Jesse rarely leaves her. She'd imagine it was the same for Andrew if she were to ask. She kind of wants nothing more than to call him right now--Jesse. Hey Eisenberg. I think we were right. He's always like that and it's crazy magnified and so hot when you're the focus of it. But Jesse won't understand.
Neither would Andrew.
Emma gets up and steals Andrew's ugly brown plaid that she's certain he stole from someone else. She doesn't want to wear her night-before clothes to talk to him this morning. When she walks out, Andrew doesn't look up from his phone, discarded breakfast plate next to him, two mugs of coffee on the table.
She walks quietly to him and sits on his feet on the end of the couch. "Hey, hero."
Andrew looks up at her and when it's not enough, he shifts so they are closer, she's almost in his lap. He drops his phone and runs his fingers through her bangs.
"You look much better without the fringe." Andrew is whispering like she's going to dissolve and he'll never see her again. It makes her skin feel too tight, her fingers feel swollen.
"I'll take that into consideration. Thanks."
Andrew kisses her, kisses the sarcastic reply away, kisses her thoughts gone, kisses her until all she can remember is Andrew and last night and being held against a wall and told she was gorgeous.
When he pulls away, looks at her again, she has her fingers digging into his arm, and Andrew's eyes are pretty much the only thing she'll ever see again.
There are worlds in Andrew's eyes. He'll pour them out for you if you ask, sometimes even if you don't. Emma doesn't want to see what's there. She doesn't want to know Andrew like that. Despite how closely they are pressed together, how warm he is, how her body seems to remember exactly the way Andrew can manipulate it.
She closes her eyes, kisses him again, doesn't think about the nothing.
They have the weekend off, he and Emma. He knew that, of course. He had slightly planned it. He didn't know if she was going to say yes or not and he didn't want things to be weird later, so he planned it in case he needed to sulk. He should have known. It's Emma. There isn't room for awkward or weirdness. Everything they've done together so far has been crazy and dumb, and Andrew feels reckless in a way he hasn't in a long time.
He lets Emma leave to change and makes her promise she'll be back. It's not like she's going far, but Andrew doesn't want to be that far away from her, that long without her. She laughs at him and swings out of his rooms, but he knows.
Andrew is maybe a little in over his head with Emma. It's just them and while it will always feel like it's just them, there is so much more to it. His world expanded, and he knows, he does, that logically, he does this all the time. But he feels like he knows Emma. Maybe he does, maybe it's because she's Jesse's best friend. He talks about her quite a lot, and Andrew was excited to get the opportunity to know her differently, independently from Jesse.
It's quite beautiful the way he knows her now. He almost wants to tell Jesse as much as he wants to keep her a secret. He won't be able to do either.
Emma is not technically his, but. But he would very much like things to change. He'll have to figure out what to do when their movie is over. When she goes back to redhead permanently and looks like herself and like the person Andrew adores more than even his current costar.
When Emma returns, Andrew has showered and cleaned up and been waiting on her for a few minutes. He wants to do everything with her, wants her to take him everywhere that looks like it would be fun with Emma, new with Emma. He wants to know where she keeps her secrets. Jesse had told him once that Andrew needed to find a place for secrets. A vault. Because everything Andrew is, was, will be is on the surface all the time.
He feels powerful with it next to Emma.
Emma smiles at him and flops in the chair. "So I called Jesse. He's going to meet us at that coffee place, by the book shop, remember? So if you want lunch or something, we have to go now."
She's still smiling and Andrew honestly has no idea what to do with her. He doesn't want to eat, he doesn't want to leave, he barely wants to see Jesse, which is ridiculous because it's Jesse and while Emma may be Jesse's best friend, Jesse was definitely Andrew's. He thinks. He's not ever sure what's going on with them and he never wants to figure it out.
That's the beauty of Jesse: he never has to.
"Okay," he says instead of cursing and wishing her to stay locked up with him. "Do you want lunch?"
"I could eat."
She shrugs, but she takes Andrew's hand to lead him out. He supposes that's enough.
"You. You brought Andrew." Jesse doesn't mean to say everything that pops into his head, and in fact, he doesn't for the most part because he think so much and so many things that they get tumbled around and tangled in each other, and it's almost impossible for him to speak sometimes. But this. This is easy, because Emma had called, said she wanted to see him, they could spend the day together. And he wanted to tell her about what was going on with him. She always listens. Even if she never never knows what to say, Emma listens and listens because he needs it.
"Just Andrew. You like him." Emma looks desperate somehow. Jesse doesn't have time to figure out what he's supposed to be interpreting from her face.
"Um. Well yeah, but."
"Did you want me to go? I was looking forward to seeing you, Jess. We haven't talked in a while." And they haven't. Not really. Jesse doesn't know what they could possibly talk about right now though. Not when Andrew is sitting across from Jesse with his hair sticking up and looking at Emma expectantly, and Jesse doesn't know what he's supposed to do with this.
They were going to talk about Andrew. He has to rearrange everything in his head.
And when he does, when he starts to, he looks up to ask Emma a question, but Andrew has his face bent toward her and his hand on her thigh and he looks. He looks like Jesse has only seen him look one other time, but this is for Emma so it's still not the same.
Emma sits up straighter and smiles at Jesse. She pushes Andrew off a little, it's not that subtle, not when Jesse is watching everything they are doing. Everything. He frowns at her, and she shrugs. Jesse can't let it go.
"What's with you two?" And maybe he says that a little louder than he means to, and maybe he can't help but feel left out. Emma is supposed to be his best friend on one hand and Andrew is supposed to be his. Well he supposes they can be best friends, but they aren't. Not really.
They are much more than that. Andrew had told him so.
"What do you mean, Eisenberg? Did you have coffee? You know how you get." Emma is twitchy and it's usually him. He feels backwards and young and out of place.
"Emma, love. You can tell him. It's just Jesse." Andrew looks at her like she is a new person, differently than how he was looking at her minutes ago, and differently to how he always looks at her and it's freaking him out. Andrew isn't supposed to look at people like that. Not Emma. Especially not Emma.
She is Jesse's. He needs her. And he thought Andrew was his, too, in a completely separate way, but now.
Jesse has to get out of here.
He can deal with being on the outside, alone in his head, as long as he has somewhere to go to when he needs grounding and stability and help and comfort.
Jesse thought that was Emma.
He thought that was Andrew.
She hears Andrew call out to Jesse and then watches, practically in slow motion as he gets up to go after him. She stops him though. Andrew sits back down and looks at her, a little bit helpless, a little bit like he can't believe anything for the last twenty-four hours.
Emma can relate.
"I'll go after him. You should let me." She looks at Andrew and his big, big eyes and his stupid, wrongly buttoned-up shirt. She wants to kiss him. And she knows how bad that is for her. "I should have run."
"What?" Andrew tries to take her hand.
"I should have run. Not walked away. Run. Far, far away from you and your dangerous new world." She sighs and puts on a bright face. Jesse is going to need it. Before she gets up though, Andrew manages to capture her hand.
"I'm glad you didn't." She doesn't look at him, though, when he says, "Tell Jesse. Just. Bring him back."
She really understands that feeling.
It's too easy to find Jesse, so that means he wasn't really running away from her. Just his own thoughts. But she doesn't think about how now she's not sure where to step as she goes to find him in the book shop.
He's huddle in historical biographies with a book on Vasco da Gama open in his lap. Emma wants very badly to push her fingers through his hair, tell him that she'll fix it, it will be fine, listen to him when he starts to babble and she can't ever get anything right there except the listening.
Instead, she slumps down next to him.
"Hey, killer. Whatcha reading?"
"I don't know." Jesse says in a voice she doesn't recognize. It's not her Jesse, and she can acknowledge that she did that, but still. He looks up at her and then quickly away. "Want to take it from me?"
"Hey now." Emma is still trying for cheerful. She is mostly not succeeding, but she needs Jesse to understand.
"Yeah, sorry. I should just leave it out, then you can. You can pick it up."
"I didn't mean."
He looks at her then, sad and soft, but there's something still Not Jesse about him. Emma realizes she's breaking her own heart here. "No one ever means to. Do they? It's like. Just. There you are one day and you think to yourself what? What do you think, Emma, because I don't have a reference for this."
Jesse is definitely worse than angry. Maybe she should have let Andrew come get him. Or left him alone. Except that's not her style. She has to keep pushing him because no one else will. He knows that about her. He does the same for her.
"I thought." Her voice shakes. "I thought, fuck, Eisenberg. You want to know what the first two things I thought were?" And maybe she sounds like she's about to breakdown, because Jesse looks at her like she's losing it.
Maybe she is.
When he doesn't say anything, Emma gets on her knees close, closer to Jesse, takes his hands and says, "The first two things I thought were 'Oh shit. Run.' Because honestly, isn't that what you've been doing? And then the second thing I thought was 'I wish Jesse was here.'" She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.
She opens her eyes and Jesse is staring at her with his mouth open slightly and that look still in his eyes--the one that says he wants nothing more than for her to eat shit and die, friendship be damned. Emma is not having a great day despite waking up with Spider-man.
"Alright. Just. Talk to Andrew. Stay here. I'll send him to get you. You guys go back to your apartment, but Jesse. You have to promise me you'll talk to him."
Jesse doesn't look at her, but he does rub his thumbs over her knuckles. She starts to get up, but Jesse tugs on her hands to keep her there.
She's not sure why, maybe because it's Jesse, maybe because he looks like he wants to deck her with a book or like he wants to hide behind a shelf and make tiny rat friends and never come out, maybe because he is her best friend and he was the first thing she thought about this morning after waking up with someone else. That has to count for something.
Emma leans forward and kisses him. Jesse falls right into her.
There is only so much Jesse can take in a day. He isn't upset that he left Emma there, that he scrambled off the floor, away from Emma as fast as he could and left blindly. He didn't even pay for his book. It's okay though. They have his address, or he's got a tab or is on retainer or something like that. Fuck.
He sits down hard on the steps of his building, where the concrete just covers his head. He thinks about bashing his head against it, imagines how bloody and pitiful that would look. Someone would have to clean that up and then take care of him and his mother would be angry at him. His sisters, too.
He texts Andrew: Emma went home
Jesse doesn't care how Andrew decides to interpret from that. She left the movie, she left the country, hopefully it just means she left Andrew. Jesse still has no idea what is happening.
He woke up this morning with intent on buying a book about discovering the Americas, and he came home shaking, having kissed his best friend and convinced that she is in a relationship without him. Wait, not without him, just without telling him.
He also sort of hates Andrew a lot. He makes Jesse second guess things like Emma and her friendship and that now if because he kissed her does that mean he doesn't love Andrew as much. Everything is so very weird.
His phone tells him that Andrew wants him to call him pls jess pls plspls.
Jesse can't. He can still feel the way Emma's mouth had felt against his, her hair brushing over his shoulder, and he can still see the way Andrew touched her, and he can still feel the way something had bubbled up, hot and mean, inside him at that.
Andrew is supposed to look at him like that. He did before. Jesse has it memorized, branded into his brain cells, into the rest of the cells of his body until he's humming Andrew.
If he thinks about it, dispossessed of himself, thinks about it as if he were someone without such a vested interest in either party, Jesse can see how beautiful they are together. He can respect that; he can enjoy that.
Except he's Jesse. And all he ever is, since the moment he sat down across from him, is wrapped up in Andrew.
And the only person that knows about that as much as he does is Emma.
"He won't talk to me." He had banged on Emma's door until she pretty much had no choice in letting him in or calling security. And they weren't going to arrest him. He is too charming for that.
He watches Emma flit around her room and barely sit on anything, watches half-detached from everything around him because she is beautiful and Andrew likes looking at pretty things. Still, there's something off about her.
Mostly he's concerned about how they are, where they stand. He knows it hasn't been very long and he should calm down, step back, be cool, but Andrew has never been any of those things. Jesse might have said once that Andrew was as big a dork as he was. It is still one of the loveliest compliments he's ever received.
So far, the day has not gone according to his plan and he wants to sit down now with Emma and not think about anything. He wants them to have more wine, talk more like last night, really talk and after that Andrew doesn't care. Not really.
Emma had such great things to share with him. He had been entranced by her. She is smart and funny and vicious. And when they talked, well. They actually got somewhere in the conversations. It was refreshing last night.
Mostly Andrew talks to Jesse or Matt or Carey. And with the exception of Jesse, no one has anything real to say to him. Well not even Jesse sometimes. Jesse's fears are much bigger than Andrew's own. At one time, he thought he could conquer them for Jesse, take them on and be enough for the two of them.
Now Jesse won't even text him back.
Andrew sighs. "Emma. Sit down please. You're making me dizzy."
"We should play Scrabble." Emma nods her head so much, Andrew wonders if it might fall right off.
"We need Jesse for that." Emma makes a weird noise. "Are you alright?" He is vaguely worried, but only in the sense that he might want to get more worried. Andrew hates that feeling.
"I kissed Jesse. In the bookshop. Kissed him. We kissed." Emma sits on her hands.
Andrew knows his face is ridiculous at that moment. He can feel it. He almost wants to reach up and actually feel it.
"Is that why he won't talk to me?" Andrew hears himself whisper. He's not sure why.
"I think you should go talk to him."
"Did you miss the part where he's not talking to me?" Seriously. Then he processes basically everything, the entire day. "You kissed him? Did you. Because I thought last night and you and I. Is that why Jesse won't talk to me?"
"Go over to his place. I think you guys can fix this right up." Emma tries to punch him on the shoulder, and Andrew catches her hand.
"What are you doing?" He looks at her until she finally, finally looks back at him. And he can see it, he can tell. She's running. "What is with everyone today?"
"I really need you to talk to him." Emma's voice is low and scratchy, and Andrew drops her hand and hugs her close. "I can't have messed this up. I can't."
He's not sure which this she's talking about, but he can't let her look like that. And he can't have Jesse mad at her. There are certain truths in the universe, and number one for Andrew is that Jesse and Emma are best friends always.
Sometimes, when it's dark and he's alone and tired and far from home, he wonders where that leaves him.
"Tomorrow." He pulls Emma back, pushes his fingers through the hair at her temples. "Tomorrow we'll both go talk to him. Yeah?"
Emma nods, slowly this time.
Andrew kisses her until he can't see her sad eyes anymore.
Andrew and Emma do show up to his door but not the next day or the day after that. Jesse politely declines even getting off the floor to acknowledge them. He doesn't have the energy for this. Not yet. And the best part about the whole thing, if he can take a moment to laugh at himself about something is how Emma has a key. But she doesn't use it. She's still trying to protect him.
He thinks that's nice.
Somewhere in the back of his brain as he slides down and curls up on the floor practically under the coffee table, he thinks that's nice of her, that she's still respecting him. He can't stay mad at either of them. The entire gamut of emotions is exhausting.
Even his cats are tired for him. He's been up for three days.
Jesse falls asleep on the floor in front of his couch at the brightest part of the day. He can only see everything he never wanted to when he closes his eyes.
He wakes up to someone staring at him. He knows it's not a cat because he can tell how they stare at him. He doesn't want to look up because he's for sure it's Emma. She used her key. Jesse can't talk. Not that he doesn't want to, there are things he would like said and out of his mind and into the open and have someone carry carefully for a while, but he physically cannot talk. It's an impossibility currently.
He turns over so he can get up off the floor and listen to what Emma wants to say now while he feels around his mouth for words that might never form, but when he looks up, Andrew is looking back at him. Andrew slides out of the chair across from him and onto the floor so they are eye level over the table. If Jesse thought he couldn't talk before, it was nothing compared to the now almost overwhelming certainty that he'll never speak again.
"Before you say anything," Andrew is saying. He's talking. Jesse can figure that out but he can't understand him. It's like he's suddenly actually learned Portuguese. "Don't be mad at Emma. She doesn't know I stole her keys. And I may have sort of lied to her." Andrew shrugs. And of course, every fucking thing he does is beautiful and makes Jesse want to hug him even though he's not a hugger, not really, not for people not named Andrew.
"Lying and deceit are a horrible way to start any relationship." Jesse hears himself talking. At least he thinks it's him. He was sure he'd never talk again. He knows sign language even if he's certain Andrew and Emma don't. Well, they know Jesse shorthand. Maybe that's worse.
"I know. That's why." Andrew slumps down on the table. Jesse has an urge to clean it. Andrew shouldn't put his face where he doesn't know if things are clean. "Jess. I'm sorry. I didn't know. Obviously I don't know anything. I'm a complete idiot and that makes me feel worse for hurting your feelings, but. Shit. Jess? Look at me."
"Andrew, I. Uh. I would very much appreciate it if you apologized and left me to myself." Jesse pulled loose threads off the bottom of the couch. "I don't know when I'll be alright with this, but um. I mean, I guess I'll have to be?" He looks up then, but not at Andrew's face. He can't quite make it that far yet. "Just not yet."
Andrew scoots around the table and takes Jesse's hand. It's so oddly familiar that Jesse wants to vomit. He wants Andrew to never touch him again, to never stop touching him, to just leave and never come back.
"That's the point, Jesse, don't you see?" Jesse shakes his head. Andrew keeps going. "I don't want you to be alright with this. I don't want to hurt your feelings. Or Emma's and I want you to-"
Jesse looks at him then. Really looks. He doesn't want to, but he can't not. Andrew has been tugging at the ends of his hair like he does, his shirt is done up incorrectly, his eyes look weirdly hollow and Jesse. Jesse wants to touch the creases over his cheek, the hair over his ear. Just like always.
"What, Andrew?" Instead, he takes back his hand, curls in on himself and says, "What could you possibly want?"
Andrew thinks none of this is going where he wanted. It's not what he wanted when he stole Emma's keys. It's not what he wanted when he waited for Jesse to wake up, when he watched Emma go to sleep. He doesn't understand why it can't be easier. It should be easier. They are still all just them. No reason for so many harsh angles.
He sat on the end of the bed and waited until Emma was breathing deep, watching her tuck slim hands under her cheek and the only thing he could think about was how he hadn't done this before, not this way and it was wrong because Jesse was hurting.
He hasn't ever been one for much self-awareness. Andrew sort of just goes with whatever he wants and he gets it, but Jesse. Jesse taught him things and how to react and what to read into everything he says and how to be deeper and kinder and more. And Andrew knew. He couldn't leave it like this.
It wasn't fair to anyone.
So he looks at Jesse now, trying to make himself impossibly smaller, hair curling wildly on one side, and he wants to define everything. He wants to make Jesse make him. He knows he never will, neither of them ever will, but right now, what Andrew needs is for Jesse to look at him like he's still the only person in the room.
He knows, logically somewhere, that Jesse looks at other people like that. He's seen him look at Emma like that, but right now. For this, for today, he wants Jesse to be his. Andrew is probably taking way too much, more than the universe has ever allotted him, but he can't help it, not when they are so entangled with each other, the three of them, not when he can look at Jesse and know what Emma wants to say, and not when he can see Emma sleep and miss Jesse beside him.
"You." He folds himself down to look Jesse in the eye. "I want you. I could possibly. And the universe might hate me and you might, but. Jess, please." Andrew lifts Jesse chin with weightless, cold fingers. Jesse blinks impossibly clear eyes at him.
There are lifetimes in Jesse's eyes. Andrew hadn't noticed before. People Jesse has been, will be. The person Andrew is meant to be.
Jesse breathes in ragged and slow. "It's. It is not funny, Andrew. You can't."
Andrew is nodding before Jesse even finishes that. "We can, Jesse. We most certainly can."
He knows he's being unfair, holding Jesse hostage with his hands, his eyes, but he can't seem to care. Nothing has ever been more important than this, than making Jesse see.
Andrew leans down closer to him, but it's Jesse that closes the distance, and it's Jesse that meets Andrew's mouth, closes his lips over Andrew's own. It's also Jesse that pulls away.
"What about Emma?" Jesse asks in a voice wrung from him.
"Come back with me. We'll show you."
Andrew doesn't wait, for an answer, for a second, for Jesse to start thinking. He leans back in, captures Jesse's bottom lip, kisses him again.
He already knows.
She wakes up alone. Again. In someone else's bed. Again. Emma is not liking the direction her life is taking, she'll tell you that. She shoves off the bed and out toward where she hears people. Before she gets to them though, she stops. Voices.
Either Andrew decided to invite some people over, chat up the waitstaff, or that means.
Emma rounds the corner and sees him. She has been trying not to think about it. Well, in the sense where it's an abstract thought running almost constantly through her mind, the fact that she slept with Andrew and then kissed Jesse and now Jesse won't talk to her and Andrew wants to buy her roses and shit, because when she puts it into words, she feels sort of like a hussy. She likes that word the best. She won't call herself anything else.
Even if she wants to. She knows Jesse would be mad at her for it, after he got over being mad at her for the Andrew Thing. She has to believe he will. She has to believe nothing is irreparable.
Right now, though, everything looks normal. Jesse is sitting close to Andrew on the couch, street lights are glaring, there's music from somewhere, her hair is a damn mess.
Nothing is right. There's something surrounding them that she can't seem to break out of, and if she were the type of person that made inane jokes, she'd liken the entire situation to the damn movie. But honestly.
It feels sticky.
Jesse sees her then and before she can run, because who is she kidding, she is running fast this time, running from the way Andrew is still looking at her, and now. She stops again. The way Jesse is looking at her.
"Can we talk?" Jesse asks her in a voice she hasn't heard from him in a long time. It's his 'Can I sit here? Are you going to punch me? Do you know about Lithuanian literature?' voice. She can't help it, her eyes slide past him to Andrew. He's staring at them both with honesty and trepidation. He's practically vibrating.
Emma might hate the world in that moment. But instead, she leans against wall, says, "Sure, killer. Shoot."
Jesse looks at Andrew, too, and then back. When he looks back at Emma, it is part of that look from the book shop, the one that says he wants nothing more than for her to fuck off. But he loops his arm around her waist, pulls her off the wall, leads her out of the room.
"Can't say it in front of Andrew?" She asks after Jesse shuts the door and leans against it. The air might be stickier without Andrew around. Emma doesn't laugh. She doesn't make inane jokes.
Jesse shakes his head like he wants her to shut up. "He came by. He. He. We kissed. I kissed him." Emma smiles. Because, good. And even if that means neither of them will have as much time for her, well, at least it's because they both got their heads out of their asses and are with each other.
She rubs at the space under her collarbone, pretends it doesn't hurt.
"Good." She drops the smile; Jesse will know she's lying.
"I'm still not. It's a little weird, you know?" He crosses over to her, sits beside her, on Andrew's bed. And if he thinks that's weird. Emma's head is too full to try to think about it, though. "I don't like sharing. You know that. I'm. I guess I am. A little selfish."
"Well, he was yours first. You should be mad at me." She pulls her knees up, contemplates her toes.
"No, I mean." Jesse turns to look at her, right at her. It's not rare. Jesse always wants to have the big conversations looking right at someone, he never lets them look away or drop their guard. He's cruel like that. "I mean you."
"What do you mean me?" Emma wants to look away and fidget. She wants to pull her ear and spread her toes and toss her hair, but Jesse caught her in his orbit.
"I don't want you to have him." That look is back, and it's worse for being so close now. "But. But I don't want him to have you either."
She breathes in sharp, gets up and paces to the door. Jesse is still looking at her, the air is still sticky. She opens the door. She can hear Andrew humming. Now it's tolerable.
"Eisenberg, I didn't know you were such a sap." She tries for playful, misses woefully.
Emma looks back at Jesse, but he's moved. He's so close now.
"Did you need to hear him? Know he was still here? Was it a little weird?"
Jesse's eyes are big in his face. Emma knows hers mirror his when she nods slowly.
"I can relate," he says. And right before his mouth closes on her, right before his hands cover her back, she sees the same look from the book shop, but this time, it doesn't make her want to die inside.
Vaguely, she hears Andrew say things like words behind her.
He stops, leans in the doorway. He just wants to stare, for hours, days if Jesse will let him, but he knows better than that by now.
It's just that. They are so beautiful together, that thought barely stings because Andrew knows. He's the only one that gets to see them both like this. And it's more than their hair catching light being tossed carelessly around or the small way that Jesse gets Emma to make sounds Andrew never got to hear when it was just him. It's how easy it looks. Even for Jesse.
There's something beautiful in the simplicity of the way they hold themselves together, as if they were always winding toward it.
As much as he wants to look, he wants to have. It was the entire reason for bringing Jesse back, for making Emma stay. The entire reason for being alive, it seems, is right now in front of him. And Andrew can admit how ridiculous he sounds. He's very good at acknowledging his ridiculous flaws.
He walks up behind Emma and says, "You started without me."
Jesse looks up sharply, and Andrew can't help but turn his teasing pout into a grin just at the sight of Jesse looking at him with blank eyes and kiss-red lips. Andrew's grin turns soft when Emma eases her head back onto his shoulder and he watches, gaze catches on it and can't let go at the easy and solid way Emma winds her fingers down to turn into Jesse's, the giving and happy way Jesse lets her.
"I didn't know we were." Jesse stops to breathe, and Andrew finds himself matching Jesse, counting with him. "I didn't know there was a timetable."
Andrew leans forward, pushes Emma with him, catches her between his and Jesse's matching breaths. "No timetable. No rush. All the time in the world, Jess. Just you and me and Emma." Andrew kisses Jesse's jaw, runs his tongue down the side of his neck, kisses his way to Jesse's ear. "Right, Emma love?" He says right into Jesse's ear.
"Don't have any place else to be," she says back in her too-low, smoky voice. It gets to Jesse; Andrew can feel it.
He wants so much more. But he can wait. Jesse has been worth that much.
He decides to try not thinking. It's hard to think anyway with Emma pressed to him in new ways and Andrew tangling a hand in his hair, kissing hot and new on as much skin as he can reach. Jesse has his hand caught in Emma's, anchoring him to this spot, this room, Andrew's eyes, Emma's low laugh, this brave new world.
Thinking is overrated. There's always too much of it going on anyway, especially in his head.
He runs his other hand up Andrew's back, grabs onto his shirt, another pinpoint of reference keeping his feet on the ground and his head in this room.
It's still too much though, or maybe it's now too much, Jesse isn't sure. He doesn't want to talk about it, not anymore, not now, but he can't keep this up, not when he looks around and locks his eyes onto Emma's, and she's heavy-lidded and sleepy slow as she smiles at him, brings their joined hands to her lips.
Jesse lets go of her then, tries to step back and still hold on to Andrew. He wants to float up and away, from Emma's eyes and Andrew's mouth and everything he is resolutely not thinking.
Andrew lets him go. Jesse doesn't know if he's pleased by that.
He stumbles over and sits on the bed. "I. There's time in the world and we can take it all. Harvest it up. But I don't know how fair that is to. To everyone else, but. I might need that reserve." Jesse really has no idea what he's saying. He blames Andrew.
Emma crawls onto the bed next to him, wraps her arms around him from behind, says soft, with her chin propped on his shoulder, "It's fine, Eisenberg. If we all want to run, that just means we all have to make sure we don't." She looks up at Andrew--expectant, open.
Andrew sits beside him, presses his fingers to Jesse's knee. Jesse can breathe. He can think. He'll have to think, thinking is what makes everything else little in his mind, pulling out one thought and turning it round and round until everything else fades to tiny words.
His one thought now is every pulse point of contact from Andrew and Emma. Surely they can feel his heart beating rabbit fast.
"Em? Don't you think it's time for you to use my first name if we're going to enter in this engagement for a yet to be determined length of time?" Jesse doesn't look at anything, everything looks back at him.
Emma turns to face him, everyone moves then, like a wave, like water, like they were meant to do it forever. For some reason, thinking of them as water makes Jesse feel better.
Andrew laughs, slight and deep. Jesse looks up at him, smiles.
"Yet to be determined length of time? Do you want a contract, Jess?" Andrew teases him; Jesse wants to tell him yes. Yes, a contract would be great, then neither of you could leave me for however long and then I'd never have to remember how this felt.
"Do you think it would be weird to start calling you 'Jesse' now? I mean, how long has it been? That feels off somehow." Emma makes her 'that's ridiculous' face.
"But Eisenberg, Emma, love. You have to think about this from a future standpoint." Andrew moves to stretch out beside Jesse, pillow his head on Jesse's thigh. Jesse reaches for Emma's hand again.
"Think about Jesse and his mouth and where you want that to go." Andrew looks up at them both, wicked eyes and laughing. "Now think about saying Eisenberg in response to that."
Jesse's laugh bubbles up from low inside him. He can feel Emma shaking with her laughter next to him. He reaches out and threads his fingers in Andrew's hair.
He tries not thinking again. It's so overrated.
She listens to the low sounds of Andrew's accent, the cadence of Jesse's tripping sentences. Emma turns over in Jesse's arms, his hand moves low on her back when she does, plays with skin there.
Jesse never stops talking. Not that she's listening, she just likes the sounds. And likes knowing that now she gets to wake up in a bed familiar to her with faces even moreso.
Andrew has his lips in Jesse's hair, bent low and into him, wrapped around him, both of them, murmuring things she doesn't think she wants to know. When she tries to slide away, though, Andrew catches her up, pulls her back into them by her hip, tangles his legs and Jesse's with hers again.
"Morning, Emma love." Andrew never looks up at her, and she knows it's not morning. She can still see the night in Jesse's eyes. "Jess is trying Not Thinking this morning. We're discussing how well that's working out for him." Andrew laughs, gentle and slow.
Emma reaches up and smoothes over Jesse's eyebrow with her thumb, smiles at him. "Is it working out, Eisenberg? I can tell that Andrew there thinks otherwise." She leans in close to him, as close as she can, feels his hand shift, feels Andrew's join Jesse's over her skin. "Personally, I feel you'll be great at it."
Jesse rolls his eyes at her, but he smiles. The smile that he doesn't show anyone else. Emma still gets to have that.
"Andrew?" She hears Jesse ask after she closes her eyes on that smile, breathes them in. "Have you ever noticed how there are so many mysteries in Emma's eyes?"
Andrew looks up, over Jesse, raises his eyebrow at her. "I thought that was part of her charm."
"I have no charm, Garfield. I am charmless, charm-free." She raises up, looks right at him, open and candid. She can feel Jesse there, staring at her, thinking about mysteries. "There is no charm left for other people when you're in the room, I'm afraid."
She tilts her head back, shakes her hair, and Andrew kisses her over Jesse, but it's Jesse that tightens a hand in her hair, and it's her that decides none of them should think.
Jesse has great plans, brilliant even.